Software giant Microsoft Corp. has finally forayed into the automotive market by bringing Skype to BMW vehicles. Expanding its existing collaboration signed last year, the company said that its internet conferencing platform will be incorporated into BMW cars. This partnership enables motorists to conduct Skype meetings in their rides through the built-in entertainment system. In a blog post announcing the deal... lrich Homann, Distinguished Architect, Cloud + Enterprise at Microsoft, wrote: "In today’s always-on culture, people need to be productive from anywhere—including their cars. Commute times are reaching record highs and people work from a variety of locations. This means that people need a way to capitalize on time spent in their car."
The post also emphasized Microsoft's belief that cars must be more than just a ride, and also be a personal office on wheels. The Skype feature will reportedly be unveiled in France, Germany, and the UK and will be expanded to other countries soon. Last year, Microsoft and BMW entered into a collaboration to develop an in-vehicle platform known as Open Mobility. In December, the German automaker was among the first car manufacturers to offer Office 365 in-car. Skype will be incorporated and operated via the BMW iDrive System, which alerts drivers to upcoming meetings, notifies a chance in date or time, or offers to start the meeting without having to dial a phone. In addition, to-do lists, Microsoft Exchange calendars, and contacts will be incorporated into the car's voice and navigation systems. Homann noted in the blog that there are over 100 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365 and a number of those business people use Skype for Business to facilitate meetings and calls at work.
For some time now... Microsoft and other technology firms, including Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. has been pushing further into the connected car market. Research & Market claims that the connected car market had shipment of 5.1 million units in 2015, with that anticipated to grow to 37.7 million units by 2022, representing a CAGR of 35.54% between last year and 2022.
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